New Visitor’s Greeting…Welcome to Let’s Talk, a freewheeling column on movies, theater, television, books, educational practices, current events, and the Internet. If you are a first time visitor to the column, I recommend that you start with the About topic in the Index Bar at the top of the page. Follow About with the Let’s Talk column in archives. It was the first column of the New Year. Proceed to Let’s Talk II and then work your way up to today’s column. These columns will introduce a plethora (a better word choice than myriad) of new ideas and old delights you may have missed. It will give you a foundation for some of the issues we are introducing and following up in newer columns.
New visitor’s comments are welcome, too. They are immediately placed on this page in the contributor’s comment section or are shared with the column’s readers on Sunday. You are welcome, also, to suggest topics for discussion or enlist help from the site’s family of readers. I am a compendium of useless information. Challenge me, please, with great theater, travel, history, books, movies, and educational issues that would interest a wide audience of readers. The “compendium comment” was stolen from Orson Bean. Bean used the quote many times on television talk show interviews. Please recommend my column to your friends and other lovers of discussion.
On Sunday we always try to answer a few comments by readers.
Reader’s Comment 1…Instead of talking about poetry, theater, movies, and television every day, why don’t you cover only one subject each day of the week? Monday could be movies, Tuesday could be theater, and so on.
Answer…The television shows and movies I like have a number of things happening in them at the same time. Multiple little vignettes of different people and situations keep my interest. My column follows this same format of exposing the reader to multiple ideas each day.
Reader’s Comment 2…Why do you write your column on Saturday and Sunday. Most columnists only write five days a week at the most.
Answer…I am going to think that comment over. I might stop either Saturday or Sunday for religious reasons of not honoring either Sabbath. Sunday’s column usually revolves around comments from readers, but Saturday I like to review the weekend’s events, movies, and plays.
Reader’s Comment 3…Thanks Al M. for chiming in three times with your support and new thoughts. We sound like two people that should hang out together. Sometimes, though, it is just as stimulating to be confronted by friends with opposing views. If you are in a Philadelphia school, I would love to come out and do a free faculty workshop for your staff. Everyone would receive a next day ready booklet of creative activities and teaching CD’s would be given to grade leaders to copy for their charges.
Reader’s Comment 4…Did you really think you could stop people from seeing Django because of its brutality?
Answer…The answer would be a resounding, yes. Two weeks later readers on LinkedIn are still commenting on my post about Django. The movie has hit a pro and con nerve because of my boycott.
Reader’s Comment 5…Your no expert on television or theater.
Answer…Like I have said many times, I am not an expert on anything. Sometime before I die, I hope to be good at something.
This week’s mistakes pointed out by readers:
- Colorado Springs is 70 miles South of Denver not North of Denver.
- Rich owns the Ambler Inn not Neal.
Television…As 30 Rock (2006) end its eight year run at the end of this month, it was nice to see Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin win a Screen Actor’s Guild Award tonight for their parts in the show. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip with Mathew Perry, Amanda Peet, and Bradley Whitford opened on television that same year and then died. It was a backstage look at a show like Saturday Night Live. My vote in 2006 was for Mathew Perry and friends On The Sunset Strip. Studio 60 joins a scroll of other shows that I loved before their short runs. My taste is definitely not America’s.
Television II…Watch Bunheads tomorrow night at nine on ABC. It is a cute and family watchable story of a Vegas dancer that is now running a dance school in little town America. Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop have the starring roles. Sutton has won the Tony Award twice for her parts in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes. Kelly Bishop was Heather Graham’s mother on the Gilmore Girls.
Theater…The local schools that are putting on the play You Are A Good Man Charlie Brown are enjoying the new songs that have been added to the play. Charlie Brown sharer: please tell me where your performance is and maybe we can fill one or two more seats by advertising it in this column. The Broadway play Annie has had seven actresses in the lead role. Philadelphia’s Andrea McArdle was the first. Today’s Parade Magazine said Sarah Jessica Parker was the second. I can’t find any songs by Parker from the play on the Internet. Did she sing anything on Sex and The City?
Poetry…This is a nice activity for introducing the poetry of Langston Hughes in the classroom. Please try it with your variations in the classroom.
In the Langston Hughes poem Mother To Son, a mother tries to encourage her son, that no matter what hardships life gives you, you must continue to strive forward: (the poem is read left to right across each line)
Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life ain’t been no crystal stair.
Its had its tacks in it, And splinters,
And boards torn up, And places with no carpets on the floor…..
Bare. But all the time
I’ve been a-climbing on, And reachin’ landin’s,
And turning corners, And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light So boy, don’t turn your back,
Don’t you set down on the steps. Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It is your turn to fashion two pep talks in the form of the Langston Hughes poem above. One talk is to be serious while the second can be humorous and way out crazy….or serious for the second poem, also.
Most students will pick Father To Daughter, Father To Son, or Mother To Daughter as a similar choice to the Langston Hughes poem for their writing. See if you can write in these areas or create something entirely original. Maybe some of these past themes developed by students will help you with your thinking.
Piano Teacher To Piano Student
George Washington To His Men At Valley Forge
Aunt Jean To Cousin Vinny
Fairy Godmother To Cinderella
Phil Jackson To Kobe Bryant
Amos Mouse To Ben Franklin
The Sun To The Moon
A River To A Stream
Pick a title for your poem and place five pieces of advice below before beginning your poem’s construction. Place and illustrate both of your poems on an 11” by 14” piece of colorful paper. Use your classmate’s ideas to create an advice bulletin board.